I grew up on a small family farm in Western Oregon where my love of wool first took root. Though I learned to knit as a young girl, I didn't pick it up with passion until after college and I have been at it full bore ever since. In 1998, I started teaching classes, designing/altering patterns and working in my local yarn store (Atelier in San Francisco).
Then, in 2002, Allison Isaacs and I pooled our creative resources to open ImagiKnit in San Francisco. The shop quickly became the premier Bay Area destination for inspiring yarns and original patterns and has been vaunted in many publications, including Knitter's Magazine. My first book (Holiday Knits), co-written with Allison Isaacs, came out in the fall of 2005.
I recently started a new chapter in my life, moving back to Oregon in order to concentrate more on writing/design and on Yarn of the Month Club.
"Horse sense" is a very central aspect of my approach to knitting. I am sure this was at least partially cultivated by my rural upbringing. On the farm, you are often called upon to use your common sense to make decisions and solve problems. It is important to be able to rely upon your judgement and your ability to weigh a situation. The same thing is true in knitting. Knitting predicaments usually can be solved by a calm head and a patient hand.
Focusing on common sense in most disciplines would quash creativity. But in knitting it can do just the opposite. The more knitting acumen you have, the more free you feel to make descisions about customization and creativity. If you have trouble finding patterns with long enough sleeves, lengthen the sleeves. With a nice logical approach, these things are easy to do. If you love the shape of a garment, but dislike the stitch pattern, change the stitch pattern. The most important tenent of my knitting philosophy is to enjoy your knitting. This sounds obvious, but so many factors can interfere with your pleasure if you let them. In the shop we got a first hand view of the many things that can cause anxiety: gift giving deadlines, low confidence for fixing mistakes and reading patterns, inappropriate yarn choices, and perfectionism to name a few. Most of these I have no control over as an author. But I can make my instructions as straight forward as possible. I can give hints to foster self-sufficiency and confidence. And I can encourage a more relaxed, process oriented approach.
Knitting has brought so much joy to my life and it is important to me to share that with as many people as I can. Few things are as rewarding as a reader/knitter telling me how much knitting has brought to his/her life. And no matter how exciting the end product, I always encourage a very relaxed, process-oriented attitude toward the actual knitting. I always want to remember it is fun.
Baby Knits Kit
Chronicle Books (2007)
Felted Knits Kit
Chronicle Books (2007)
Winter Knits Kit
Chronicle Books (co-authored with Allison Isaacs) (2006)
Chronicle Books (co-authored with Allison Isaacs) (2005)
Knit It Magazine
Yarn Botanika (yarn company)
Lanas Puras (yarn company)
Be Sweet Yarns (yarn company)